Buying a home is a major life event, so it’s no wonder half of home shoppers begin formally researching for their home 6 to 12 months in advance. To better understand your digital home buyer, you first need to understand the role that digital media has in the home search process. What are they looking for and how will they find it? From school districts to mortgage calculators, stay ahead of the curve with the following online real estate insight.

Zero Moment of Truth

Today’s home shopper is increasingly going online to look for information to support their buying decisions. They’re digital and they’re uber-connected. From researching home trends to exploring a virtual open house, house hunters are doing it all online.

Google calls this idea ZMOT, or the Zero Moment of Truth; the idea that shopping is no longer about going to a store (or an open house), but rather seeking advice online about what to buy as their first step. This theory has become an invaluable source of insight to realtors and markets who are looking for insight on consumer buying behavior.

Digital Home Buyer House Hunt

House hunters are becoming digital home buyerResearch shows that nine in ten home buyers rely on the internet as their primary research source and real estate related searches on are growing steadily year after year. So, in order to capture customers’ attention, realtors need to understand what it is that they’re looking for and then utilize that information to fine-tune their online marketing tactics.

Eye Popping Stats

Knowing what a digital home buyer is searching for is now more important than ever. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these eye-popping stats:

  • Real estate related searches on have grown over 250% over the past 4 years according to Google Internal Data.
  • According to a 2015 trends report from the National Association of REALTORS, among ALL generations of home buyers, the first step in the home buying process is looking online for properties for sale!
  • For 42 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties.
  • Home shoppers will perform an average of 11 searches prior to taking action on a real estate site.
  • According to 78% of new home shoppers visit 3+ sites prior to taking action on a real estate site.
  • 69% of home shoppers begin their research with a local term i.e. “Chicago homes for sale” on a search engine.
  • 89% of home shoppers used the internet to search for a real estate agent.
  • 52% of actions on real estate brand site come directly from a local search on a search engine.
  • Top 5 states where “first-time buyer” category searches are happening include: Louisiana, South Dakota, Delaware, Mississippi and Wyoming.

Real Estate Insight

By knowing a digital home buyer’s goals and financial picture, realtors can match their needs specifically with the appropriate content. Take a look at some of the top search trends in the real estate industry today:

  • Compared to other buyers, millennials care more about aspects such as neighborhood, school district and high-speed internet-ready homes, according to a survey of U.S. online home searchers.
  • One-quarter of Google searches for mortgages have been on mobile devices, and terms such as “mortgage calculator” make up half of those searches. First-time buyers are also searching
    • FHA Loan/FHA
    • Home grants
    • Home loan/Home loans
    • Buying a home
    • Home mortgage calculator
    • Home buyer assistance
  • Related searches for “loft” and “townhouse” have been declining over the past decade.
  • But interest in the “small house movement” has been climbing since 2004.
    • With a spirit of DIY, these individuals are 3x more likely to search for gardening, 8x more likely to search for woodworking and 4x more likely to search for knitting.
  • People who are searching about buying a home are 4x more likely to search for furniture than those who aren’t which makes interior design a hot topic to search for.

Content Is Still King

It’s like a puzzle. Knowing what interests your audience can help direct content marketing efforts and piece together the appropriate social media opportunities. One of the most important things you need to make sure you have is clear and consistent messaging for your digital home buyer.

Don’t have time to DIY? Let the experts at Post Café help you get started with all the content you need to get noticed; call us at 732-218-9377 to learn more!